About Steve Hasler

Steve Hasler

March 29, 1984. Steve Häsler was attending college in Gambier, Ohio when the phone rang in his dorm room. His parents were calling with disturbing news – our beloved Colts had poured the entire organization into Mayflower vans and left town. For the next four autumns, Steve was forced to watch football with Browns fans, unsympathetic to the plight of losing a hometown team. By 1987 he was back in Baltimore, working in advertising, and attending the Towson Fourth of July every year just to hear the Baltimore Colts Marching Band play the old fight song as they waddled by. It made his mother cry every year. And yes, he called his old Ohio roommates back in 1995 just to make sure they heard the news that he once again he was going to have a team to root for. Steve has been opining on all things Ravens pretty much since the invention of message boards. You may know him as Shas.

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Bengals 17, Ravens 14

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CINCINNATI BENGALS 17, BALTIMORE RAVENS 14   October 11, 2009   For the second week in a row, the Baltimore Ravens were facing an opponent with just one loss to their name.  This week it was the Cincinnati Bengals, with their own highly decorated quarterback in Carson Palmer.  And again this Sunday the Ravens played a tight contest that was impacted by big plays and questionable officiating, ultimately decided in the final minute of the game.  Once more the Ravens came out on the losing end, by a score of...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Patriots 27, Ravens 21

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NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 27  BALTIMORE RAVENS 21 October 4, 2009   Pull up the stat sheet from an NFL game and you can usually find the keys to victory.  When the Ravens trounced the Browns one week ago, the stats had victory written all over them.   But good luck finding a statistical explanation for this week’s outcome.  The sputtering Ravens essentially beat themselves in Foxboro Stadium, losing to a seasoned Patriots team, 27-21.   Penalties, turnovers, sloppy tackling, dropped passes or botched routes by the Ravens in key situations—and...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Ravens 34, Browns 3

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BALTIMORE RAVENS 34 CLEVELAND BROWNS 3 September 27, 2009   Your heart predicted it all week.   The Ravens should easily handle the hapless Browns at home.  Then your head intervened, whispering doubts to your heart.    This is a trap game, you told yourself.  Plus, divisional rivals tend to play each other close, right?  The Ravens might overlook a weaker opponent sandwiched between tough, conference road games in San Diego and New England.  Their shaky special teams units were facing a dangerous return man in Joshua Cribbs. The winless Browns...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Ravens 31, Chargers 26

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  REARVIEW MIRROR   BALTIMORE RAVENS 31 SAN DIEGO CHARGERS 26 September 20, 2009   The old expression, don’t corner a wounded animal nearly came back to bite the Ravens before they escaped Qualcomm Stadium with a tough road win, 31-26.     Sure, the Ravens defense was licking its chops with the news Chargers starters at running back, LaDainian Tomlinson, center Nick Hardwick and guard Louis Vasquez were all ruled out prior to game time.     The Ravens had to know that Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers would be asked to...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Ravens 38, Chiefs 24

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  REARVIEW MIRROR   BALTIMORE RAVENS 38  KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 24 September 13, 2009   Cam Cameron has a message for you. He’s not kidding about throwing the ball.     When the Ravens passed 58% of their preseason plays, most observers figured they were simply working on an offensive deficiency, and the regular season would bring a return to their familiar run-first mentality. After all, in Joe Flacco’s rookie season the team threw the ball just 43% of the time, while rushing 507 times for 2,027 yards —good enough for...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Ravens 20, Falcons 3

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Rearview Mirror BALTIMORE RAVENS 20, ATLANTA FALCONS 3 September 3, 2009   Starters sit as Ravens roll to a 4-0 preseason finish.   Twenty of the Ravens’ twenty-two starters were sidelined for this game.   Now there’s a scary thought – scary but true, a consequence of needing to get through a largely meaningless final preseason game Thursday night in Atlanta. As such, the coaching staff elected to rest the starters and use the occasion to get a closer look at the back-ups.   Other than the inexperienced Tavares Gooden, Terrell...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: RAVENS 17 PANTHERS 13

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REARVIEW MIRROR August 29, 2009   BALTIMORE RAVENS 17, CAROLINA PANTHERS 13   Ravens’ Stars Shine during Saturday Night Win.   For a solid decade the Baltimore Ravens played a singular brand of blue-collar football.  It featured a swarming team-defense designed to bend but not allow opponents to break the ten-point barrier.  Mix in a run-oriented offense to grind the ball down the field before trotting out their reliable placekicker and the formula worked. But outside of an occasional Ed Reed interception, it didn’t exactly endear the team to the...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: RAVENS 24, JETS 23

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BALTIMORE RAVENS 24 NEW YORK JETS 23 August 24, 2009   “I feel like I’m on a seven-on-seven period. This is the Ravens?” - Jon Gruden, ESPN telecast   For the second week in a row, the Baltimore Ravens shook off their run-first reputation and came out throwing, kept throwing, and came away with a victory over the New York Jets. Their second preseason game was a much closer contest than their week-one steamrolling of the Redskins but the Ravens prevailed, 24-23, as the final horn sounded.    While the...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: RAVENS 23, REDSKINS 0

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August 13, 2009 On a muggy Baltimore evening at M&T Bank stadium, the Ravens opened the preseason in their visitor whites and promptly whitewashed a sluggish-looking Washington Redskins team, 23-0.  Baltimore showed some inconsistencies, understandably, but were otherwise dominant from start to finish – not just the final score but virtually every statistical category.    The Ravens racked-up 500 yards of total offense on 21 first downs, compared to 196 and 11 for the Redskins.  The team converted on third down at a better-than 50% clip, and had no turnovers. ...

Tales of tight ends becoming glorified tackles

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One of the most enduring images of the 2008 NFL season was last October’s blow-up between former all-world Terrapin tight end Vernon Davis and Mike Singletary in his Forty-Niner head-coaching debut.    Flashback: Davis had just lost his cool and cost his team 15 yards.  Singletary pulled him, and sent him to the locker room. Afterwards he explained himself to reporters thusly, "I would rather play with 10 people and just get penalized all the way until we got to do something else, rather than play with 11 when I...

RAVENS DRAFT REPORT CARD: Measuring the immeasurable

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It’s time for the experts to weigh in with their draft grades.   Thank goodness. Because how can we be happy with the Ravens’ selections of Michael Oher on down through Cedric Peerman until we know what Todd and Mel think?   Soon their report cards will be in and the fans can voice their opinions, which usually comes in three flavors:   1. Ozzie is a genius 2. Ozzie is an idiot 3. Screw Len Pasquarelli   Afterall, there is nothing more polarizing than the NFL draft…with the possible exception...

Ravens need to adjust their draft strategy in Round 2

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  Many Ravens fans have fallen in love with Darius Heyward-Bey.  They see a receiver with great speed who potentially could stretch the field which just so happens to be a screaming need of the Ravens and presto, there’s a match made in heaven. Of course the added bonus here is that Heyward-Bey is a Terrapin – local kid stays home to fulfill a dream. Seems like Heyward-Bey as a Raven should be a story of destiny and if you think about it he is the prototypical second round pick...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Steelers 23, Ravens 14

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  PITTSBURGH STEELERS 23, BALTIMORE RAVENS 14 January 18, 2009   There was Willis McGahee, lying prone in the middle of Heinz Field, practically motionless after a devastating hit. It was a terrible moment.    Trainers from both teams crowded around him, methodically detaching his facemask and preparing his stretcher.  Steelers and Ravens players knelt around him, their faces turned inward with angst.  Close teammates, like Ray Lewis, prayed. Ed Reed grabbed his hand.  As McGahee was wheeled off the field and into the tunnel a Steelers fan from above...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Ravens 13, Titans 10

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BALTIMORE RAVENS 13 TENNESEE TITANS 10 January 10, 2009   If there can be such a thing as a stunning victory, this was it.  Despite being statistically outplayed in nearly every way, the sixth seed Baltimore Ravens traveled down to Nashville and emerged victoriously in a heart stopping, breathtaking way as they shocked the Titans by the score of 13-10.   The score was a mirror-opposite of the Ravens 13-10 home loss to Tennessee in week five.  And it was opposite not just on the scoreboard.    Back in October...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Ravens 27, Dolphins 9

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BALTIMORE RAVENS 27 MIAMI DOLPHINS 9 January 4, 2008   The experts got this one right.  Going into this game it was difficult to find anyone outside of South Florida who expected the Dolphins to beat the Wild Card Ravens.   And so, when it was over, the favored Ravens had met every expectation and easily took care of business in Miami, beating the Dolphins 27-9 to advance to a second round playoff match-up against the AFC’s top team in the Tennessee Titans.   How the Ravens won was a bit...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Ravens 27, Jaguars 7

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The playoffs started a week early for the Baltimore Ravens—essentially—in this must-win contest against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Win, and the Ravens knew they would grab the sixth and final AFC playoff spot.  The Patriots had already beaten the Bills earlier in the day, so all the pressure was on the Ravens to pull out a victory.   Despite the fact they were playing at home, and facing a reeling Jacksonville team with a mirror-opposite 5-10 record, it would have been understandable if the Ravens came out and played tight.  First...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Ravens 33, Cowboys 24

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  BALTIMORE RAVENS 33 DALLAS COWBOYS 24 December 20, 2008   The Baltimore Ravens’ first ever trip to Dallas will go down in NFL history as the last game ever played in Texas Stadium.  It was a game that would send the Cowboys fans home disappointed, and send the Ravens home victoriously with a 33-24 win to run their all-time record against the Cowboys to 3-0.   Like everything in Texas, this game was big. Big enough to provide a little bit of everything, and a lot of contrasts.  That...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Steelers 13, Ravens 9

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  PITTSBURGH STEELERS 13  BALTIMORE RAVENS 9 December 14, 2008   When the two top defenses in the NFL faced each other in Baltimore Sunday it promised to be a low scoring affair. The final outcome, a 13-9 Steelers win, fully lived up to that promise.   Prognosticators warned that special teams and turnovers would play a large role in the final result.  And that they did.  What few could have predicted however, or hoped for, was shoddy officiating. But in a game of inches Walt Coleman’s elderly officiating crew...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Ravens 24, Redskins 10

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Baltimore Ravens 24  Washington Redskins 10 December 7, 2008   The Ravens shell shocked the Washington Redskins, grabbing an early14-0 lead that they never surrendered, while holding on for a 24-10 victory.    The talk before the game centered on the fact that the Redskins were making their first a regular season trip to Baltimore since 1978.  After the game, fans were talking about the Ravens first win on the national stage since before the 2006 season, snapping a seven-game losing streak.   When it’s the national stage it’s usually...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Ravens 34, Bengals 3

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  BALTIMORE RAVENS 34  CINCINNATI BENGALS 3 11/30/08   Welcome to the Mark Clayton Show.    In a 34-3 win over the home-standing Cincinnati Bengals, the Baltimore Ravens dominated in every facet of the game, with a steady, workmanlike performance.   But it was Mark Clayton who shined brilliantly and stole the show with remarkable catches and a nicely thrown pass to Derrick Mason for a score.  More on his spectacular effort in a bit…   Other than Clayton’s explosive play, it was a grind-it-out win for the Ravens.  They completely...
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